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Home Entertainment Desktop with touch of gaming

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by Archy, May 15, 2008.

  1. Archy New Member

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    Hello,
    I've been wanting to build an HTPC for some time now, and finally I decided to start breaking everything down. I built the PC i'm currently using so I have an IDEA of what to do, but alot of the new technology, and specifications still baffle me.

    Needs:
    Blu-Ray/DVD drive
    At least a DVD burner...blu-ray/dvd combo?
    Photo memory card reader
    Video Card/ Sound card to support high resolution video & audio(5.1 surround)
    Preferably 2 Hard Drives...small one dedicated for OS, large one to store pictures, music, movies. Maybe use an external HD instead?
    DVI Output
    Bluetooth?
    DVR?
    I prefer vista...
    ...This was my original list of things I wanted it to include, while also capable of general PC usuage, with a bit of gaming. .

    Here's the general idea of what I have chosen, with a goal of $1000(I overshot that a bit ;))

    Case:
    Silverstone GD01MX with lcd & imon accessories-$249
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2929610&Sku=S35-1139

    Motherboard:
    Asus M2n SLI-$279
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicat...etails.asp?EdpNo=3735685&Sku=MBM-M2NSLI-9500A
    or
    Asus P5K-E Mobo
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131196
    Intel 2.4ghz 1mb cache 775 CPU
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116070
    or
    Asus M3A32-MVP Deluxe WiFi-AP Motherboard CPU Bundle - AMD Phenom X4 9500
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicat...details.asp?EdpNo=3716109&Sku=MBM-M3A32-9500A

    Memory:
    CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2-$58
    http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16820145034

    Video Card:
    8800GT-$149 after rebate, 512mb, 1800mhz memory clock, 600mhz core clock
    http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16814150252
    or
    8800GS-$119 after rebate, 384mb, 1600 mhz memory clock, 680mhz core clock
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150276

    Power Supply:
    Corsair 620W Modular PSU-$145 after rebate
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139002&Tpk=corsair+620
    or
    Seasonic 600W-$139
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151030


    Optical Drive:
    LG ALL Format reader(including hd-dvd), dvd & cd burner-$199
    http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16827136133
    or
    Sony Blu Ray,dvd, cd reader-$189(Great Reviews)...Buy a dvd burner later on
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827131054


    Hard Drive:
    OS: Seagate Barracuda 7200:10 160gb-$50.99(may up this to 320 or 500gb for $69 or $99)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148230

    Media: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 750gb-$129.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148298

    Wireless Networking Card:(if not included in the mobo)
    Linksys PCI 802.11g-$49.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124139

    TV Playback/DVR:(Still undecided if I want the tv tuner)
    Hauppauge TV/FM Tuner PCI-$94.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815116010

    Heatsink:(May or may not need a heatsink...)
    Artic Cooling Heatsink-$29.99
    http://www.frozencpu.com/cpu-arc-09.html


    As you can see, I'm having the most trouble picking out a motherboard. Right now I am leaning towards the SLi with a linksys wifi adapter, or the M3A32(a tad expensive however). Unless I can find a suitable cpu to go with the p5k wifi board. Some people have recommended each one, other say they are overkill, others say its a bad idea & don't give a suggestion...so i'm pretty confused right now. I certainly want this rig to last a long time, with the ability to upgrade it when the need arises. I also want it to be as quiet as possible.

    Ill be checking this thread often, so if you are unclear about anything, feel free to throw it out there.

    I appreciate your help with this project!
    ...sorry if there is a duplicate thread floating around. It kept throwing me back to the forum index but I couldn't another post.
     
  2. echo75 New Member

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    i just have 2 comments otherwise all what you have listed are fine -

    1.my advice on the mobo is the P5K-E , it P35 chip , stable technology and has onboard network ( Attansic) so u save the 49 bucks for the card.

    2. for a HTPC you will need a very silent heatsink that does not hum in the background . if you are not going to overclock one of the most silent is Zalman 7500 not much better than stock cooling but the main advantage is that at normal fan speed is inaudible.
     
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  3. rampage

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    i have just built a HTPC i have used a asus p5e-vm hdmi 775 mobo (g35 chipset). onboard gfx with hdmi out and onboard coxal digital audio and only <$200 australian, i just wack in either my 8800GT or 8800GTX for gaming ....

    im running 2 gig of generic ram 5-5-5-15 and a e6750 at stock. (im of the thinking its powerful enough to game on with a 42" LCD but with all the onboard it makes the perfict silent low power HTPC / torrent box

    with the case why not just buy a $40 small micro case as i have done and put it on its side and it would be the same as that $250 case

    i wouldnt worry too much about a cpu cooler, unless you are going to OC the HTPC wich i wouldnt realy reconmend any way

    as for a HDD we can get 500gig samsung drives here in australia for about $95 somthing like that would be my reconmendation

    and all of this will come under yout $1000

    have fun
     
  4. suraswami

    suraswami

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    you can read my thread here

    http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=50420

    Unless you plan to game you don't need that much power.

    I am running these LG BD/HDDVD rom GGC-H20L + ECS
    NForce6M-A + AMD AM2 Athlon 64 X2 4800
    + 2GB ram + EVGA 8600GT 512MB HDCP
    Compliant + Sapphire Theater 550 pro TV tuner + Maxtor 250GB IDE + ofcourse all kinds of remotes.

    With Cool 'n' Quiet enabled the cpu usage never goes more than 1800 mhz with TV recording going at the background. I am using this with a 50" Sony 1080p tv.

    If you go with latest AMD 780G chipset with HDMI built-in like this one
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128090

    with

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103255

    and the LG Blu/HD DVDRW drive you are all set.

    If XP you will be ok with 2GB. Vista go with 4 GB.

    Don't spend much for HTPC. I have even watched Bluray movie with a single core A64 3200 at default speed smooth no lag.

    Follow the install procedure that I mentioned and you are good.

    my 2 cents.
     
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  5. Archy New Member

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    I chose the more expensive case due to the iMon LCD that is built into it...as well as the 52-1 card reader. I believe the LCD along with the included software would be well suited for an HTPC. I also tried finding another htpc case with 2 adjacent 5.25 bays and one or 2 for optical drives.

    I also do plan on gaming with this pc, which is why I was leaning towards the mobo's that I linked in the first post. However, I do like the P5k for the built in wifi to save the cash on the adapter, while I like the SLi because I will never have to worry about it in the future.

    What are your thoughts on the LG Blu-Ray/HD drive? The reviews I have seen on newegg are not so positive!

    Why would you recommend the 4gb ram, if you also state not to spend too much on an HTPC? ;-). I was thinking 4gb, but 2gb will certainly be sufficient for a little while. I also have the Cool & Quiet on my current PC, but I don't think I have ever enabled it.

    Noob question. Whats the difference between a CPU Cooler & a heatsink? I don't plan on overclocking the PC, but I was obviously going to get a heatsink for the cpu.

    The 500gb seagate 7200:11 also runs for about $99...but it is only going to be used for the operating system, so I think that 160gb would be enough. I'd also use a 750gb hard drive for media, etc.

    I appreciate the rapid responses...probably the quickest ones I've recieved on any forum yet
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2008
  6. rampage

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    the asus p5e-vm hdmi mobo is nothing to be sneezed at, for gaming its a great borad and i did have it im my main rig for a while (see my system specs for waht is in that pc)

    with that asus board i OCed my q6600 up over 3.4ghz and with 8 gig or ram in the system so if by gaming you mean you want to OC i would still say go the hdmi board and when you are not gaming take out the gfx card and have a low power HTPC (my system used 57 watts of power( tested with a watt meter))not somthing that sits there spinning the power meter round and round, other wise i would say just build a normal pc and stick it in the corner of the room and be done with

    i guess im just trying to say, im my mind a HTPC is a machine that i can still play games on but uses one quater of the power of my main rig when at idle and full load

    but i am sure what ever you choose i know you will be happy and verry pleased
     
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  7. Archy New Member

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    I do plan on gaming with it, but I don't plan to overclock. I have never really contemplated overlocking my pc. So basically, with that motherboard(as long as its hdcp(did i get that right?)) I can still play blu-ray, etc without the 8800 installed...I would only need it in to play games? I do see that being a hassle, and I would keep it installed all the time though. Merely curious. I've definitely been overkilling the HTPC idea in order for it to play games real well.
     
  8. rampage

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    i am 97% sure with the hdmi mobo all you would need is the blu-ray drive and it will work fine..

    the other facter is what tv are you using.. dose it have a HDMI IN if so you will need to get a gfx card with a HDMI OUT to play games/watch movies, otherwise buy a DVi > HDMI adapter cable as i have done for my 8800GTX as the onboard HDMI OUT is only good for watching movies...
     
  9. rampage

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    soz for the double post, i think i mentioned eariler that the asus p5e-vm hdmi mobo was built for HTPC's it has the has onboard audio (coxal out) so all you need to to is run it directly into the sound system, hence no need for another sound card
     
  10. Archy New Member

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    It only has a DVI port, its a 50" Sony Wega DLP. A few years old now. Thanks for the observation though. Most of the graphics cards i've noticed have at least one, or 2 dvi's with an S-Video.

    I also love the idea of running the sound system directly into the computer. However, I would have to get an rca-stereo adapter to plug it into a slot on the surround sound. While i'm at it, is there any difference from the rca & digital audio plugs?
    ...I do have a Creative Audigy 2zs in my current PC which is not getting a ton of use, so I was contemplating putting that audio card in the HTPC.

    Again, I really appreciate the speedy comments
     
  11. rampage

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    k, if it only has a DVI then you will need a GFX card, in that case i dount have a clue, good luck
     
  12. Archy New Member

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    GFX-short for graphics card right? Justtttt wanna make sure its not some term I'm over looking. But thanks, I think i'll be going with the 8800gt
     
  13. rampage

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  14. Archy New Member

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    What is the difference between socket 770, and AM2+? I'm assuming the AM2+ is better, but the motherboards are exactly the same price. the 770 is...well 770, and has PCI 2.0, while the AM2+ is AM2+ and only PCI.

    Thanks!
     
  15. Archy New Member

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    Wow, that is a pretty good idea! I didn't know they made fanless cpu coolers.

    Sooo, what exactly do you mean run it passive?

    $20 at newegg
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186017


    Also for you guys, and suraswami...what are your thoughts on the optical drive?
    The LG Blu-Ray/HD, DVD, CD, DVD&CD burner is $199 but has some poor reviews...but again, it plays HD, and burns all in one drive
    Or
    Get the $189 Sony Blu-Ray(Sure they can't screw that one up), and a cheap dvd/cd burner down the road(or now)
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2008

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